The No. 19 Virginia baseball team turned a pitcher’s duel into a rout, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn a 9-1 win over Columbia on Sunday at Disharoon Park.
The victory completed the three-game series sweep for the Cavaliers, who improved to 7-0 to start the season for the second-straight year and the seventh time under head coach Brian O’Connor.
The game was tied at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, when the Wahoos sent 13 batters to the plate and blew the game open. Virginia took advantage of three Columbia errors, four walks and a hit by pitch in the game-changing frame.
All nine runs scored in the eighth were unearned. Ethan Anderson put the exclamation point on the offensive outburst with a 3-run homer to right field to make it 9-0. Anderson finished the three-game series with a team-best five hits and five RBI.
People are also reading…
Reliever Jay Woolfolk was credited with his first win of the season after recording the final five outs of the game. The sophomore right-hander rescued the Cavaliers from a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth inning by retiring the last two batters.
UVa starter Jack O’Connor tossed six scoreless innings and struck out three batters in a no-decision. He needed only 74 pitches to earn his first collegiate quality start. In his two starts this season, O’Connor has yet to allow a run and has surrendered just three hits in 11 innings pitched.
Freshman reliever Bradley Hodges took over in the seventh and struck out the side to keep the game scoreless. The lefty ran into trouble in the seventh allowing three of the first four batter to reach base. With one out and the bases loaded, Woolfolk struck out the first batter on a 3-2 fastball and induced an inning-ending fly out to center to keep the game scoreless and set up the Cavaliers’ big inning.
Columbia scored its lone run on an opposite field, solo home run by Hayden Schott in the top of the ninth.
Virginia, which is in the middle of 10-game homestand, will be back in action on Tuesday against VMI. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Disharoon Park.